Please enjoy the following continued devotional written by Ascent College faculty member Dr. Diane McGehee as she further explores Psalm 144 as part of our “Psalms in the Summer” series.
I will sing a new song to you, O God
(Ps 144:9 ESV)
In verses 5-8 of the 144th Psalm, David pleads with the Lord to show up in all His Majesticness and rescue him from an enemy that more than deserved God’s judgment. In verse 9, however, David makes an abrupt change, almost like the scratching of a needle across a vinyl record or the static “eeeeerrrrrrr” that suddenly interrupts a song being played, as he utters a new determination, “Lord, I will sing a new song to You. I’m not going to keep singing that old song.”
Notice David says, “I WILL…” I am going to make this change! Why did David think he needed to change his tune? Is it something you and I may need to seriously consider? It is so easy to fall into a rut of talking and/or thinking about yourself as being the victim and the need for God to intervene—to render justice to those who have repeatedly attacked and even maligned who you are. We can quickly succumb to negative speaking and thinking and, yes, repeatedly find ourselves singing the song of complaint to the Lord… and to anyone else who will listen. However, David recognized he really needed to change his song. The message he was broadcasting was a message that did not reflect the true nature of the God he represented. So, David determined to change.
Though determined, David unfortunately quickly reverted back to his old song temporarily: “Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners, whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood” (vs 11). Songs deeply affect our souls—the heart of our emotions. It does not matter if you are not really listening to the words; those words ride in tandem with the music. Anyone who has studied music much realizes that the words of a song merely give further expression to what the songwriter is wanting to communicate. And when a person repeatedly sings or even listens to the same message, that message becomes embedded into the soul of the person, which then reflects in the person’s emotional well-being and actions. It will take a repeated determination to change—to sing a new song again and again and again until it replaces the old music in our souls. I recall my childhood piano teacher’s process for correcting something I was playing incorrectly. I would have to play it correctly ten times in a row (yes, consecutively) before she would let me continue. She later explained that it takes seven times to break the incorrect habit and another three times to begin instilling the new habit. We are going to need to sing our new song multiple times if we want to reclaim our emotional health!
Yet it would take more than determination as David discovered he would also need to change the message. So, David begins to envision the effects of the new song he would sing. It would be a song that would declare the goodness of the Lord, creating fertile soil that would produce a healthy harvest.
- The message of the new song would be like a seed in those who are just beginning to grow in their relationship with the Lord. It would inspire godly strength, maturity, and grace-filled beauty. “May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace” (vs 12).
- The spiritual fruit produced would overflow, spilling out into the world around those who sang the new song. There would be healthy reproduction as the song then multiplied into the hearts of more and more people. “May our granaries be full, providing all kinds of produce; may our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields; may our cattle be heavy with young, suffering no mishap or failure in bearing” (vss 13-14a)
- The new song would motivate a new hope, one that leans into the security only the Lord provides. “May there be no cry of distress in our streets!” (vs 14b).
And the reoccurring theme of the new song will be “Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!” (vs 15). What is the song of your heart?
Prayer: “Lord, I’m going to start singing a new song, one that gives a new and fresh testimony of Your goodness to me. This new song will plant seeds in all who hear it resulting in healthy harvests that reproduce more healthy harvests as it reproduces and multiplies. Even the enemy who will try to invade will have no success because there will be no place for them to enter because of the abundance of spiritual produce. Lord, how blessed are the people who declare and know You as their Lord and their God! Amen.”